It was at an orchid exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens where I was first bitten by the conservatory bug! As you may know the magnificent Botanical Gardens are known for their grand conservatories. Though it was a really cold and windy day when I was there for the orchid exhibit, inside the conservatory was tropically warm and the smell of the plants was intoxicating! So began my dream to someday have a conservatory albeit a much smaller one, but a conservatory nonetheless, where the feeling is always tropical, no matter what the thermometer says!
This shot is how the house appeared from the outside before construction began. The conservatory was constructed off the back of the house. These windows would be replaced with French doors leading into the conservatory from the living room. The project took two years from start to finish with all of the necessary permits, plans and manufacturing.
Finally the day arrived, and so did a huge back hoe to dig the foundation, followed by the cement truck.
The foundation of the house also had to be broken through to create a crawl space under the conservatory foundation so all of the air conditioning ducts could be fed through.
The project remained like this for a few months while waiting for the structure to arrive. The conservatory was manufactured from mahogany and shipped over from Ireland. It then sat at the piers waiting to go through customs.
I never took photos of all the stacked pieces after they were delivered, so there is a gap in showing the construction. But here are some shots of the final outcome. This is the sideview of how the conservatory sits to the side of my patio. It has French doors leading onto the patio as well. I also found a company that manufactures retractable screens, so on a lovely spring day, I pull the screens down from their rolled up mechanism and it become much like a screened in porch.. The doors have retractable screening as well.
And finally the finished project. The roofline has a lovely decorative piece that sits across the top. For some reason it is not visible in this picture.
This is the view from the conservatory and throughout the back of the house. The stonework was another major project the first summer I moved in. I wanted something that looked old with a Tuscan feel. The stone walls are constructed from granite. The roses are carpet roses in deep pink that spill down the walls from early summer until fall. Giant sunflowers and Endless Summer Hydrangeas serve to cover the stark white vinyl fence. Fences are nice for privacy, this fence is my neighbors choice, but my intention is to hide the starkness of it by creating a natural screen. The huge slab of slate shown in the corner of the picture where the gravel is, is a fountain where the water spills over that slate and gathers in the gravel where underneath a huge pump is housed to gather the water and recycle it up and through the garden again.
Just looking at the flowers makes me long for those summer days in my garden! It snowed AGAIN today!